On the phone just now, I had a real inspiration...
Talking with a credit card company, I let Jane (an operator) coax me into accepting reward points. I'd asked her, a couple ways, why she wanted my assent. (Most companies, you know, just give you benefits unless there's some cost you might care about.) All this time, she conversed quite humanly. She did well, and I accepted.
Then she had to read me some official statement of acceptance. The official reading conveyed nothing new. I rolled my eyes & thought about how I hate being subjected to pro forma rhetoric -- how it really gets in the way of good customer service.
I suddenly thought of Steve Mann (a cross between Michael Moore and Inspector Gadget):
"This raised many of the issues in what I call sousveillance, inverse surveillance," says Mann. While surveillance is watching from above, sousveillance is about watching from below. "[It's about] when passengers photograph taxi cab drivers, when citizens photograph police officers, when customers photograph shopkeepers."What would Steve Mann do? He'd find a way to make the system even more ridiculous. What do I want to do? Connect with the real human at the other end of the line, give them a wonderful story to tell.
I now see how to do both: Solemnly intone a pro forma script right back at them! But, make it good, joyous, funny!
As into the garden Elizabeth ran
Pursued by the just indignation of Ann,
She trod on an object that lay in her road,
She trod on an object that looked like a toad.
It looked like a toad, and it looked so because
A toad was the actual object it was!;
And after supporting Elizabeth's tread
It looked like a toad that was visibly dead.
Elizabeth, leaving her footprint behind,
Continued her flight on the wings of the wind,
And Ann in her anger was heard to arrive
At the toad that was not any longer alive.
She was heard to arrive, for the firmament rang
With the sound of a scream and the noise of a bang,
As her breath on the breezes she broadly bestowed
And fainted away on Elizabeth's toad.
Elizabeth, saved by the sole of her boot,
Escaped her insensible sister's pursuit;
And if ever hereafter she irritates Ann,
She will tread on a toad if she possibly can.